I am quite fond of the word constellate. It aptly describes the way ideas form as I consider a new post. The inspiration for this came from seeing “UP” from Pixar. A brilliant example of Creative Mythology.
Three generations of our family have seen it and thought it was magic. The animated format sat well with my nephews. And both my sister and mother were touched by it.
The first half of the story tells of two childhood friends, Carl and Ellie growing up, getting married, coping with the discovery she can’t bear children, allowing their life to unfold without manifesting their dream, the wife then contracts an illness and dies. This connects me to my own mortality and my own seemingly frustrated aspirations. The second half follows the husband drawn into an adventure with a young boy who needs to assist an elderly person in some way to enable him to become a fully badged “ Senior Wilderness Explorer”.
This second act of the story triggered my imagination seeing it as symbolic of a journey to be become fully conscious. While the opening seemed to form the background for the rest of the story as I considered it more deeply I found it held as much symbolism as the second. There was much to stir both thoughts and emotions.
Thomas Moore describes children in Soul Life his audio retreat as being “raw carriers of soul”. This attribute was borne out by the curiosity of the two children in “UP” and their first meeting in the derelict house. With further thought I see them as the male and female elements of the psyche and the house as being the soul before one begins to sense a connection to the divine. An attitude of curiosity is essential as we walk upon the earth even though it may lead to injury as happened to Carl as he listened to Ellie daring him to be adventurous in this rickety old house. Carl winds up in hospital.
They are both excited by an explorer, Charles Muntz who is introduced early in the movie having found the bones of a previously undiscovered bird and he then goes off to “Paradise Valley” to search further for a living specimen telling everyone he won’t return until he has one. Consequently he disappears. Carl and Ellie wish to search for this childhood hero, find “Paradise Valley” and the bird. Ellie begins a scrapbook for this adventure.
They get married and buy the derelict house and begin to do it up. A jar with the words “Paradise Valley” on it sits on the mantle piece and they put all their spare cash in it for the trip. Life intervenes and the money they’re putting aside gets used for other things.
Doing up the house could be seen as working on our relationship with the sacred and the marriage as the union of the divine male and female.
Ellie becomes depressed when she finds out she’s infertile. I sensed the tragedy and sadness. And yet in these times of consumerism and materialism perhaps it points towards the rejection of our inner children. The playfulness and wonderment seem to get lost in the striving for the next best thing.
Life carries on then Ellie gets sick and the doctors are unable to do anything for her. Perhaps we’ve also lost connection to the feminine energies in our strivings. Carl sadly lays Ellie to rest and seems lost without her, taking on the aura of a grumpy old man. Until one day there’s a knock on the door…..